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A-list Hollywood director, 85, insists he’s too shy for ‘touchy-feely’ allegations-Tori Brazier-Entertainment – Metro

The legendary filmmaker’s $120m comeback movie has sparked wildly divided reactions.

A-list Hollywood director, 85, insists he’s too shy for ‘touchy-feely’ allegations-Tori Brazier-Entertainment – Metro

Legendary filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola has finally addressed the allegations made against him (Picture: Getty)

Francis Ford Coppola has insisted he is not ‘touchy-feely’ because he is ‘shy’ following allegations of inappropriate behaviour on the set of his $120,000,000 comeback movie Megalopolis.

The Apocalypse Now director, 85, made the statement when hitting back at claims that emerged in May, days before the bizarre film’s premiere at Cannes Film Festival.

He was accused of pulling women to sit on his lap and trying to kiss a string of scantily clad female extras while filming a nightclub scene.

This was reportedly ‘to get them in the mood’ for the rather bacchanalian sequence, with the octogenarian being described as ‘old school’ in his behaviour around women by several sources.

Breaking his silence for the first time about the allegations, which were published by The Guardian, Coppola simply told The New York Times: ‘I’m not touchy-feely. I’m too shy.’

He also began his own defence by talking about how his upbringing means he could never be a predator.

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‘My mother told me that if you make an advance toward a woman, it means you disrespect her, and the girls I had crushes on, I certainly didn’t disrespect them.’

The New York Times also wrote that The Godfather filmmaker acknowledged ‘there was a photo of one of the ‘girls’ he kissed on the cheek (on the set of Megalopolis) that had been taken by her father’ – adding: ‘I knew her when she was nine.’

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Coppola has been defended against the claims he acted inappropriately on the set of his latest film by its executive co-producer and first assistant director, Darren Demetre.

He told The Guardian in the same report that carried allegations of Coppola’s apparent misbehaviour on set: ‘I was never aware of any complaints of harassment or ill behaviour during the course of the project. I have known and worked with Francis and his family for over 35 years.’

Coppola, pictured with Megalopolis actresses Nathalie Emmanuel and Aubrey Plaza, was accused of pulling feamle extras onto this lap and trying to kiss them on set (Picture: Getty)

His comeback film includes a ‘bacchanalian’ nightclub scene, which is where his ‘old school’ behaviour was said to have occurred(Picture: American Zoetrope)

Demetre praised the industry veteran for successfully producing and directing ‘an enormous independent film, making all the difficult decisions to ensure it was delivered on time and on budget, while remaining true to his creative vision’.

He added, of the specific alleged behaviour in question: ‘There were two days when we shot a celebratory Studio 54-esque club scene where Francis walked around the set to establish the spirit of the scene by giving kind hugs and kisses on the cheek to the cast and background players.

‘It was his way to help inspire and establish the club atmosphere, which was so important to the film.’

The Guardian’s report also contained allegations that Coppola smoked marijuana on set, was ‘unpleasant’ and had no plan for filming, which apparently left his team tearing out their hair.

The director insists he is ‘too shy’ to be ‘touchy-feely’ (Picture: Getty)

Megalopolis stars Adam Driver (L) as an ambitious architect keen to rebuild his city of New Rome (Picture: American Zoetrope)

During the making of the film, Coppola wad also contending with his wife Eleanor’s deteriorating health. She died aged 87 in April.

Coppola’s Megalopolis premiered at Cannes on May 17 to a wildly divisive critical reception, with’s reviewer dubbing it ‘possibly the worst film I’ve ever seen’ in a one-star rating.

The director first began writing the project in 1983, and sold a portion of his wine empire in 2021 to self-fund the $120m project – over which he told journalists at the Cannes press conference he had no regrets.

Megalopolis pits Adam Driver, 40, as an idealistic architect who can control time and is trying to rebuild New Rome, against Giancarlo Esposito, 66, as the city’s arch-conservative mayor.

The cast also includes Game of Thrones star Nathalie Emmanuel, Aubrey Plaza, Shia LaBeouf, Jon Voight, Laurence Fishburne, Saturday Night Live’s Chloe Fineman and Dustin Hoffman. has contacted a rep for Francis Ford Coppola for further comment.

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